The Time of Reckoning for the Church
Who is meant in the seven letters to the seven churches and why are they given exactly before the events that will transpire in the following chapters in Revelation? These are the questions whose answer we will try to find in this article.
But before we begin, the present author has to admit that it was very challenging and difficult for him to come to any decisive conclusions over the years. The concise language in the short letters to the seven churches in Revelation made the job to extract as much knowledge and understanding as he can even more difficult, since some of the warnings in the letters are limited to one sentence.
The present author realizes that the messages to the seven churches addressed in Revelation may have not been addressed to seven particular churches, but to seven types of believers and/or churches. Anyway, he was challenged to find the answers to these questions, but the time had not come yet.
Now, the time has come. And it is Time of Reckoning for the Church.
Let us summarize what we have learned so far about the seven churches in Asia Minor.
The Messiah addresses His assembly as the church of Ephesus. As we talked about, this church is of Ephesus; it belongs to some degree to the world. However, it was not like that in the beginning of this church.
The Ephesians started their walk with the Messiah well. They did not tolerate the evil and tested the teachings of those who called themselves apostles, but they were not. They labored for Yeshua’s Name and their work brought forth good works.
But, something happened in the life of that church; something that made them forget their first love and from where they had fallen. And this is what the Messiah admonishes them for: they have forsaken their first love. They may believe, they still love Him, but in actuality they have left their first love.
The only way to return to the Father, Yeshua says, is through repentance. And the failure to do so will result in removing the church from its place in the body of the Messiah.
We should have noticed so far that this is not the first letter the congregation in Ephesus has received. Apostle Shaul (Paul) wrote his letter to the Ephesians long before the letter in Revelation was written. Therefore, we are talking about two letters: the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church of Ephesus; two letters, but one message, as we will see.
The Ephesians were first trusted in Messiah, in whom they heard the word of the truth and were sealed with the Set-apart Spirit of promise (Eph 1:12-13). Their eyes were being enlightened, so that they should know what is the expectation of His when the father raised the Son from the dead and seated Him at His right hand far above all rule and authority and gave Him to be head over all the assembly, which is His body (Eph 1:18-23).
Shaul prayed that they would not lose heart (Eph 3:13), that the Messiah might dwell in their hearts in love, in order that they might be strengthened to firmly grasp to know the love of Messiah (Eph 3:17-19). The apostle called upon them to walk worthily in the faith (Eph 4:1), because for that reason the Messiah gave His disciples for the perfecting of them in building up of the body of the Messiah, so that they should no longer be tossed by every wind of false teaching that would lead them astray (Eph 4:11-14 and Eph 5:6)
But, did the Messiah find in the church of Ephesus the fruits of the seeds Shaul sowed? No. He found that the Ephesians had left their first love; they had left Him.
So, who are today’s “Ephesians”?
In Mat 13:3-30 (also in Mar 4:1-41 and Luk 8:5-56) we read of the parables of the Sower sowing the seeds, some fell on good soil and some among the thorns. And then comes the devil sowing the seeds of darnel, which start growing among the good seeds.
In these parables and in His letter to the Ephesians, Yeshua reveals that the false seeds represent the teachings of those who caused them to forget their first love. He admonished them to remember from where they had fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else He will come and remove their assembly from the body of believers (Rev 2:4-5).
Therefore, we see that what Shaul has sowed in this assembly has not grown to the expectations of the Messiah. When the two letters are read in context, we find that they are two letters and one message to the church of Ephesus, namely: “Love the Messiah who dwells in your hearts!”
For the Christians, the first love they have is the Messiah. Sadly, there are Christian churches that may have gone far in their outward religious lives following the teachings of men, yet they have forgotten their first love.
Today’s Ephesians are tossed by every wind of false teaching that leads them astray from the Torah of YHVH, His Word. They have been taught that the Torah has been done away with; they allowed the false teachers to replace the real Messiah with an invented one. They say ‘Jesus is the Lord’ yet they have forgotten their first love.
Some Messianic congregations in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements have forgotten their first love, too; and some of them have even forsaken Him completely thus having gone astray tossed by the wind of the Rabbinical teaching that Yeshua is not the Messiah of Israel.
And speaking of Israel, what was the first love of Israel? When the Lord made a covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai, He became a Husband to them and the giving of the Covenant was the wedding ceremony. The Israelites first knew YHVH and He became their first love.
Today there is a particular sect in Judaism, the Reformed Judaism, that has gone astray from their first love. Their “reformed synagogues” have become nothing but social clubs, not places of worship. The Torah-observance has gone far away from their lives, and the reformed Jews can hardly be distinguished from the Gentiles.
But, we should ask ourselves whether we are of “Ephesus.” Have we forgotten our first love like the Ephesians have? Because, we may have gone far in our religious lives and yet be threatened with the removal; all because we have forgotten our first love.
Yeshua’s approval in the letter to the church in Pergamos is that they have not denied the faith in Him. He recognizes their peculiar danger living in a place where Satan’s seat is. Yeshua also recognizes that it is not easy to hold fast to His name under such circumstances, yet He reprimands them with two very serious issues they have: whoring and idolatry.
They were faithful to the name of Yeshua, even to the point of martyrdom, but were tolerant of false teachers among them who taught them to mix the faith in the Messiah with pagan practices of sexual misconduct and idolatry. And unlike the Ephesians, the congregants in Pergamos did adhere to that false teaching of submission to men, not to the Messiah, the head of the assembly.
Therefore, the message of the One who has the sharp two-edged sword to the church in Pergamos is this: if they do not repent from the sins exposed in His letter, His testimony before the Father will cut them off from the whole assembly of the Messiah, because the Word of Elohim is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of soul and spirit and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12) This warning is similar to the warning to the church of the Ephesians.
When we studied the letter to the church in Pergamos, we noted that the mentioning of manna brings an immediate association with the Exodus of Israel from Egypt and it should also bring to their minds that they are too to leave the idolatrous “Pergamos.”
But, who are today in “Pergamos?”
We also noted in our study that the message begins not accidentally with a reference to the seat of satan. So, where or what is the seat of satan?
In Revelation we see that when the dragon (satan) is thrown out of the Presence of the Highest with his messengers, “The Woe” to the earth is announced, for satan has come down, having great wrath, knowing that he has little time (see Rev 12:5-14).
Once thrown onto the earth, satan establishes the eighth and last empire on the earth. He creates the ten-horned beast, or the New World Order (NWO), represented by ten political and economic unions in existence today. He gives them his power to rule over the world, to speak against the Highest (see Dan 7:17-25) and for forty-two months to persecute the faithful (Rev 13:1-7).
This is “Babylon” in the Book of Revelation. This is satan’s seat: the last empire of this world, the New World Order.
Sadly, some among the professing believers in “Pergamos” adhere to the New World Order. They may go to church every Sunday morning and hold fast to His name, but they still live in “Pergamos”.
And indeed, of all the places of the world, there is a place in which the world-worship is well organized. As it was in the ancient Pergamos, where the cult of Rome and worshiping the emperor as a god was first established, the believers in Yeshua still live in a place called in Revelation “Babylon”. They adhere to the rules of the world and to the law of the land, but have rejected the Law of YHVH, the law of the Land.
So, when the church-goers in Pergamos were criticized by the Messiah for whoring and idolatry, it is to be understood as spiritual whoring with the world. Those who still live in Pergamos love the world more than Him.
For more insight on the New World Order, refer to chapter “The Ten-horned Beast. Key Players of the New World Order.” of the present author’s book Reckoning of Time and the related articles in Prophecy Insight.
The Messiah recognizes the many good qualities of the church in Thyatira, such as good works, love, service, and faith, and most importantly their endurance in the hardship: all good qualities a congregation should possess.
But, the Messiah rebukes the church in Thyatira of having tolerated “Jezebel” who teaches and deceives His servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat sacrifices to idols. The reference to “Jezebel” is used to denote the result that the professing servants of the Messiah are led into whoring and corruption of the secular world that teaches sexual immoralities and sacrifices to idols.
And indeed, the world has washed away the difference between moral and immoral. Prostitution and same-sex marriage are being legalized; drugs too. Today, almost everything is turned into idols: from material possessions to celebrities, all have become idols for Thyatira.
Hence, we understand that as the church in Pergamos has two very serious issues: whoring and idolatry, so does the church in Thyatira.
The message Yeshua delivers to the church in “Thyatira” is this: if the church does not repent of these works, His testimony before the Father will throw them out from the whole assembly of the Messiah. This warning is similar to the warning to the church of “Ephesus” in which the Messiah threatened them with removal of their church (Rev 2:4-5), and to the church in “Pergamos” that He would fight against them with the sword of His mouth, just like a two-edged sword would cut and divide them from His assembly (Rev 2:16).
We also noted the contrast in the letters to the assemblies in Ephesus and in Thyatira. The Ephesians started their walk in faith well, but their current condition is intolerable. While in Thyatira, they have brought forth more good works than at the beginning, yet still lack.
From this we understand that for the Messiah how one finishes the race is more important than how it was started, because at the end of the day, He will give to each of us according to our works (see Rev 2:23).
Who are in “Thyatira” today?
It is not hard to see what the names “Bil’am” and “Jezebel” have in common (see Rev 2:14 in the letter to Pergamos). Bil’am and Jezebel are the two evil characters in the Bible most notorious for leading the Israelites into idolatry and whoring. Thus, as Bil’am through Balak caused Israel to stumble through immorality and idolatry, so did Jezebel through her husband King Ahav.
And since we have been given to know that Bil’am was a stumbling-block before Israel, and his teaching for the church in Pergamos, so was Jezebel a stumbling-block before Israel and her teaching to the church in Thyatira.
Moreover, we are told in the letter that there are some in Thyatira who have known the depths of satan (Rev 2:24-25). Notice the phrase who have known. As we studied in the letter to Pergamos, the word satan, simply means the adversary, the opponent, not a personal name of a fallen angel, as it is often rendered in the Christian translations.
However, when seeking the relevancy of Yeshua’s message to the modern “Thyatira”, His words who have known the depths of satan, we have the reason this time to think that He is also referring to the chief fallen angel, not just to the false teacher “Jezebel” in that church.
Therefore, as “Pergamos” lives in the New World Order where the seat of satan is, so does “Thyatira.”
Unlike in the addresses to the churches in Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira, in which Yeshua began with approval, no such approval, not even a word, is found in the letter to the church in Sardis.
In the letter to the church in Sardis we find that the name the church has that they are alive, is just a façade, a mask, behind which, however, the truth is blatant: they are dead, says the Messiah. Nevertheless, Yeshua urges the church in Sardis with the call to wake up from the spiritual death and save what could be saved, because they are about to die. And the reason being is that He has found their works incomplete before the Father.
In other words, their works have been found incomplete, because they are already spiritually dead, that is they have ceased producing good works.
And although the Messiah has found them spiritually dead, He warns them to watch and repent, because they needed to remember how they have received and how little work they have completed.
What has caused the spiritual death of the church in Sardis may be found in the words Yeshua uses to warn them: I shall come upon you as a thief. In the article concerning the letter to the church in Sardis, the present author made the suggestion that the cause of their spiritual death is the pursue of money. For more information on this controversy in the church, refer to the article.
However, amid all iniquities in Sardis, there are a few live souls who have fulfilled their works and have not defiled their garments. But, they are just a few. To them Yeshua says that if they overcome, they will not be blotted out from the Book of Life (Rev 3:5-6). What they need to overcome is none the less evil: the beast and his image and his mark and the number of his name (Rev 15:2).
Who are in today’s “Sardis”?
The official doctrine of the Church is Paul’s claim to the tithes of the churches. It is well known that the Protestant churches in America, are more or less wealthy, and their pastors and priests are on payroll: some of them very rich, others even millionaires.
But what many Christians may not know is that the major Christian denominations invest the parishioners’ money into buildings, stocks, bonds, retirement plans, and real estates. And since the churches are non-profit organizations by the law of the land, and to keep their tax-exempt status, they have to re-invest the financial gain, after the salaries, building costs, allowances have been deducted.
It is well known that very often the clergy has much better social security, retirement plans, material possessions, etc. than the congregants themselves. The professional priesthood pursue “the green” as they travel from one “green pasture” to a “greener one” looking for a better job. The pastors, reverends, bishops, and TV evangelists collect the tithes of the congregants for the simple reason that they believe that they are “the new Levites” today.
Thus the Church has become “tax exempt religious corporation” by the law of the land managing their own enterprises by investing the surplus of the tithes to avoid taxation and keep their “non-profit organization status.”
That is “Sardis” today. But this church is nothing compared to the next church which is also the last of the five the Messiah rebuked: the church of the Laodiceans.
For more insight on this controversy in the church, the reader may refer to the articles “Is There Any Place for “Professional Priesthood” Today?“, “Do not Muzzle an Ox while it is Threshing! Did Paul Claim the Tithes?” and “Do not sell Wisdom, Instruction, and Understanding!“
Speaking of riches and wealth, we come to the church of the Laodiceans. Unlike the case of the other churches, in the letter to the church of the Laodiceans, we find no good word for this church. Not even one. None!
Yeshua addresses His letter to the church thus: to the church of the Laodiceans. Notice the phrase He used: of the Laodiceans. With this He makes the point that that church belongs to the Laodiceans, not to Him. An assembly of believers in Yeshua is His body and He is the head of it. And if He says that their assembly is of the Laodiceans, that can only mean one thing: it does not belong to Him, it belongs to them. He is not their head, they have their own “head”.
The Messiah is very straightforward with the church of the Laodiceans. He calls the church lukewarm. And because He has found them neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, He says, He will vomit them. That is He will separate them from Him in the most irrevocable way one can imagine and their repentance, if any, will have a little chance. That was the message in the letter to the Laodiceans straightforward from the very beginning.
But even that was not the only sin the church of the Laodiceans has been blamed for. Yeshua did not stop there to call the Laodiceans ‘lukewarm.’ He says that because they think of themselves as rich and lack nothing, they do not even know they have been found the most miserable of all. The church prided itself on the false premises that although it has acquired wealth and riches, it thinks it has committed no wrong or sin.
So, the church of the Laodiceans has become rich and prideful in its wealth and they find no sin in themselves. Nevertheless, the Messiah is advising them to buy from Him gold refined in the fire, so that they might become rich before Him and dressed in white garments, so that their shame might not be shown (Rev 3:18).
That is the Laodiceans’ last chance to make it right before Him who sacrificed so much for them. But, will the rich Laodiceans get the message? Yeshua will stand at the door of their church and will even knock, but they, not the Messiah, must open the door and invite Him in; they must do their part of the repentance process, not the Messiah.
But will the rich Laodiceans repent? Hardly. Because, the Messiah has found no merits, no merit whatsoever in them.
There is only one church today that can fit into the description of the church of the Laodiceans. Unlike the other four churches that have “to deserve” their tax-exempt status before the state, the rich and wealthy church of the Laodiceans is a state. This church is rich and made itself rich, and need none at all; it is self-sufficient.
In the present author’s opinion the rich church of the Laodiceans is the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church. It is rich and wealthy. It has its own bank system, “national” guard, and “territory”. It is a state in the fullest extent of the word. Its head is the Pope whom they call “the Holy Father” esteem deserved only to the One Father we have in heavens: YHVH Himself.
This church has deserved its name “the church of the Laodiceans” and its fate.
The assemblies in Smyrna and Philadelphia
So far we studied five out of seven letters to the assemblies in Asia Minor: the letter to the church of Ephesus, to the churches in Pergamos, Thyatira, and Sardis, and the letter to the Laodiceans, and why the letter to the Ephesians was specifically addressed as a letter to the church of Ephesus and the letter to Laodicea: of the Laodiceans.
We also studied that these five churches in Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea, are more or less found guilty before YHVH, especially the wealthy and lukewarm church of the Laodiceans in which no merits have been found.
However, it is not so with the last two assemblies in our study: the assemblies in Smyrna and Philadelphia. No follies whatsoever have been found by the Messiah in these two assemblies. That is why the present author has chosen to group the seven letters to the seven churches in such a manner as to distinguish the assemblies in Smyrna and Philadelphia from the rest.
What we find, though, is a new element in the letters to the believers in Smyrna and Philadelphia: Torah observance which we will discuss below. And that is why the present author is very reluctant to call the assemblies in these two cities churches, given what the term “church” means today, namely a congregation that does not conduct its life according to the Torah of YHVH, and which is worse: a congregation where the Torah has been rejected as something irrelevant to the congregants.
However, what we find also is that one of the two, the assembly in Smyrna, is about to suffer. Yeshua is warning them that the destroyer is about to throw some of them into prison, in order to try them, but this suffering is to be for ten days. While the assembly in Philadelphia will be completely guarded from the hour of trial, because they have guarded His Word. Both assemblies have guarded the Torah of YHVH and endured in faith, yet Smyrna will suffer persecution.
We are not told as to why some of Smyrna will go through trial, but the Savior reminded them in His letter that beyond the suffering of this brief life the Crown of Life awaited them, which would abundantly reward their faithfulness. The Philadelphians are also promised a crown that no one will be able to take it from them.
Let us again recall the rewards that are awaiting the faithful: the Crown of Life for those who endure trials, the Crown of Glory for those in humility, the Crown of Righteousness for those who have loved and anticipated Yeshua’s return, and the Crown of Faithfulness. And what we see in Rev 12:17 and Rev 14:12 is that obedience to YHVH expressed in guarding His commands and faith in Yeshua the Messiah, are necessary for salvation; contrary to what is taught in the Church that only faith suffices and the Torah (aka the Law) is done away with.
We also see that those who guard the Torah and the witness of Yeshua are called the remnant. These are the ones with whom the dragon will be angry. We have the reason to believe that the Torah observant believers in Yeshua in Smyrna and Philadelphia are the remnant with whom the adversary will be angry.
They are poor and have little power, but good works before the Lord. Before them, He sets a wide open door no one is able to shut. This door is set open only for those who have guarded the YHVH’s word (the Torah) and have not denied His Name.
This is said in contrast to the door the rich and lukewarm Laodiceans who have shut the door in the face of the Messiah, and therefore, in the face of the One who has sent Him. The prideful Laodiceans are those who have assumed the authority to open and shut the door, because they see themselves rich in power and authority, authority given only to Him who through His blood merited it.
We noted in our study of the letter to the believers in Philadelphia that there are a few typical Hebrew traits of the believers in Yeshua. Let us again recall them: (1) the key of David, (2) guarding the Torah, (3) the commands of Elohim, (4) the Temple, (5) the Name of YHVH, and (6) the name of the city of YHVH, Jerusalem.
The choice of words in the letters to the seven churches (assemblies) is not accidental. None of these Hebrew terms can be found in the letters to the other five assemblies severely reprimanded by the Messiah. Let us again recall that only two (the assemblies in Smyrna and Philadelphia) of the seven assemblies have not be criticized, and that in only two of the seven letters YHVH has chosen to use these Hebrew terms. And only two of the seven have been promised rewards: the crown of life for the believers in Smyrna and the crown of faithfulness for the believers in Philadelphia.
But only one of the two (the believers in Philadelphia) will not go through suffering but will be preserved from the hour of trial.
So, why are we given to know these Hebraic signs, but to tell us that these are Torah observant believers in Yeshua the Messiah? Therefore, we can call the faithful in Smyrna and Philadelphia Torah observant Messianic believers who guard the commands of YHVH and the testimonies of Yeshua. This is why the present author is very reluctant to call those congregations “churches.”
So, who are today in “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia”?
The present author wants to suggests a hypothesis that, he admits, is hard to survive testing in order to become a theory, given the concise and short letters to Smyrna and Philadelphia.
He is in opinion that “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia” have been meant to be for the lost tribes of Israel and Israel, respectively.
As we learned from the letter to the assembly in Smyrna, according to the Sages the term Yehudiyim, Jewish, denotes ones of the lost tribes of Israel.
Whether the Sages are correct to call Yehudiyim the lost tribes of Israel, we do not know. But, this same term is found in the Hebrew text of Revelation and more particularly in the letters to Smyrna and Philadelphia where it is used to denote those who have come to harass the believers in these two assemblies. They are those who call themselves “Jewish” but are not and who in their blasphemous behavior try to deprive Smyrna of its sacred character. They are also those who lie to the Philadelphians that the Lord does not love them.
The present author considers this to be a key clue in his hypothesis. Keep in mind that the believers in today’s “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia” are Torah observant, according to the letters addressed to them.
Now, let us read from the prophecy in Jeremiah.
Look, the days are coming, declares Yehovah, when I shall make a renewed covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Yehudah not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I strengthened their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, declares Yehovah. For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Yehovah: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:31-33)
The Renewed Covenant, B’rit Chadashah, (lit. covenant of renewal) in Jer 31:31-33 pertains to the last days, as seen in Jer 30:24 and Jer 31:1 when the divided kingdom of the house of Israel and the house of Yehudah will be again one: the house of Israel, and the covenant in concern in this prophecy is clearly the Sinai Covenant aka the Ten Commandments in Exo 20, which Israel broke.
In Deu 31:16-17 YHVH foretold that Israel would violate the covenant. This violation of the covenant would set up the need for a renewed covenant that would be re-written on the hearts of Israel (see also Eze 36:25-27), as it was meant to be from the very beginning.
The difference between the “old” and “new” covenants, we see, is not the recipient of the covenant (as the Church teaches: the “old one” for Israel and the “new one” for the Church), but where the covenant will be written. YHVH describes Himself as a husband to Israel: the first love of Israel.
Note that the B’rit Chadashah is made with the two houses, not with any Gentile nation. So, how can a Gentile have any part in the B’rit Chadashah but only by being grafted into the olive tree of Israel, as Shaul (Paul) in Romans 11 teaches.
Having said all that, can we suggest that “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia”, being Torah observant houses, are the two houses of Israel and of Yehudah in the last days?
The present author realizes that there is a very serious objection to this hypothesis. Namely, the house of Israel and the house of Yehudah today are not “Jesus believers”, which is true, today.
But it was not so from the very beginning. There is a very strong evidence that the Sages believed that Yeshua was the promised Messiah of Israel who came in about two thousands years ago to establish the Age of the Messiah, but it was lost to us due to our iniquities, as the Rabbis referred to.
The Rabbis of old did believe that Yeshua was the Messiah, the one that was crucified and resurrected in the first century Judea. We find this is the testimony of an ultra-Orthodox Rabbi which is revealed in the article “Day of Trumpets and the Messiah” from the series The Appointed Times of YHVH. According to the Ultra Orthodox Haredi Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter, the Rabbis are very well aware of Yeshua being the Prince of the Face of YHVH.
There is a Jewish prayer book called Machzor Rabbah for Rosh HaShanah which contains a remarkable prayer read on Yom Teruah Day of Trumpet aka Rosh HaShanah in the Rabbinical tradition, when the shofars are sounded. In this ancient Jewish prayer the name of the Prince of the Face of YHVH, Yeshua, is hidden under the blasts of the trumpets. The Rabbis did not and still do not want the Gentile Christians to know what the Jews believe about the Prince of the Face of YHVH.
Sadly, this prayer seems to have been taken out of the modern editions of Machzor Rabbah.
And if “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia” are the lost tribes and Israel, who are those Yehudiyim who claim to be “Jewish” but are not?
There are Jews who live in exile in America and West Europe (a fact that does not qualify them for “the lost tribes”) who claim to be Jews, but they make everything possible to blaspheme their brothers who returned to the Promised Land to build a home for all Israel.
These are the Reform Jews. Yes, they are descendants of Avraham and their fathers were at Mount Sinai and all said, “All that YHVH has spoken we shall do” but they left their first love, YHVH, and work towards the destruction of the State of Israel. As Apostle Shaul said, Know, then, that those who are of faith are sons of Avraham. (Gal 3:7)
It is not in the scope of this article to expose the anti-Israel agenda of the Reform Jews, because the present author believes that readers are well informed on this issue: self-hating Jews.
As noted the B’rit Chadashah is made with the two houses: the house of Israel and the house of Yehudah, not with the Gentiles. And we noted that the only way a Gentile can have any part in the B’rit Chadashah is to be grafted into Israel. Or, as Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter said it, “I cannot be one of you, but you can be one of us”.
And indeed, if “Smyrna” and “Philadelphia” are the lost tribes and Israel, the early believers in Yeshua the Messiah to whom the letters were addressed and today’s non-native grafts are also part of the lost tribes and Israel, wherever YHVH has grafted them into. And concerning whether the lost tribes of Israel are really lost, the reader may refer to the article “Where are the lost tribes of Israel?“
These are the seven letters with their messages to the seven assemblies then and now.
In these eight articles the present author tried to give an interpretation to the best of his ability and knowledge concerning the message which YHVH gave to His Son to deliver to the seven churches or assemblies.
The only question that remained seemingly unanswered is: “Why are the seven letters to the seven churches given exactly before the events that will transpire in the following chapters in Revelation?”
To answer this question, we need to find out what the Hebrew word behind revelation means in the first place.
The Hebrew word as found in the Hebrew text of Rev 1:1 is חָזוֹן, chazon, which means a sight (mentally), that is, a dream, vision. It comes from the root חָזָה, chazah, a primitive root which means to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate; specifically to have a vision of. Hence, chazon simply means revelation, or oracle.
The Hebrew word that is used in the Tanak with the meaning of to reveal is גָּלָה galah; a primitive root that means to denude, to uncover [nakedness] especially in a disgraceful sense. By implication it means to exile (as in Isa 5:13) as captives (Jer 13:19) were being usually stripped, hence figuratively galah means to reveal, to uncover, as found in Isa 40:5 and Isa 56:1. Both words can be used interchangeably since a vision (chazon) can be reveal (galah) only by YHVH.
How does this Hebrew word that means to strip relate to the concept of revelation and how will it help us understand the message in the seven letters to seven churches and Revelation as a whole?
The message in the Book of Revelation is all about the redemption of the chosen ones of YHVH, the time of revival in which the Messiah of YHVH will come to buy back His people from this world. When He returns, He will reveal but literally strip the world of its iniquities, so that everyone will bend knees and acknowledge the power and authority of the Messiah and the One who has sent Him: the Mighty One of Israel.
By the same token, the Revelation from YHVH begins with uncovering the shame of our spiritual nakedness in order to expose our follies before the Great Day of the Lord, so that no one will have an excuse as to why one has been judged in a particular way, before the world is judged.
Revelation begins with the seven letters for our own sake, so that we can learn from our sins and get it right before the Lord before it is too late.
Because it is time for judgment to begin from the House of Elohim (1Pe 4:17). It is Time of Reckoning for the Church.
In conclusion, after we studied the seven letters to the seven churches, we can proceed to “The Revelation of the Seven Trumpets. Greatest Prophecy Ever Told, Few Can Hear“.
For more insight on the end-time prophecy, please, visit Prophecy Insight and Part II The Last Kingdom of the present author’s book Reckoning of Time.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.